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NCJ Number: 49585 Find in a Library
Title: IMPROVING THE UTILIZATION OF EVALUATION FINDINGS WORKING PANEL 3 (FROM USE OF EVALUATION BY FEDERAL AGENCIES - PROCEEDINGS OF A SYMPOSIUM, 1977, BY ELEANOR CHELIMSKY - SEE NCJ-49572)
Author(s): B G EWING
Corporate Author: Northwest Missouri Regional Planning Cmssn
United States of America

US Dept of Justice
LEAA
National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Northwest Missouri Regional Planning Cmssn
Maryville, MO 64468
US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AN EVALUATION SYMPOSIUM WORKING PANEL'S DELIBERATIONS ON WAYS TO IMPROVE FEDERAL AGENCIES' USE OF EVALUATION FINDINGS ARE SUMMARIZED.
Abstract: THE PANEL CONSIDERED THREE ASPECTS OF EVALUATION USE AND USABILITY: (1) THE USER, OR AUDIENCE; (2) THE KINDS OF INFORMATION NEEDED BY THE USER; AND (3) THE CONDITIONS THAT STIMULATE OR IMPEDE THE USE OF EVALUATION FINDINGS. THE PANEL DECIDED THAT THE PRIMARY AUDIENCE OF AN EVALUATION DEPENDS ON WHO NEEDED THE EVALUATION AND ON THE CHARACTER AND SCOPE OF THE EVALUATION, BUT THAT EVALUATORS SHOULD KEEP IN MIND THAT NOT ALL USERS OF THEIR FINDINGS ARE TO BE FOUND IN FEDERAL AGENCIES. POSSIBLE CONFLICTS AMONG THE NEEDS OF DIFFERENT USERS--AGENCIES, CONGRESS, FEDERAL POLICYMAKERS, LOCAL PRACTITIONERS--WERE CONSIDERED. THE GROUP AGREED THAT THE EXTENT TO WHICH EVALUATION FINDINGS ARE USED DEPENDS ON WHETHER THE RIGHT QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ASKED, AND THAT IT IS OFTEN DIFFICULT TO KNOW WHAT THE RIGHT QUESTIONS ARE. THE NEED FOR A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF EVALUATION ON THE PART OF DECISIONMAKERS, OR AT LEAST FOR MECHANISMS OF LIAISON BETWEEN EVALUATORS AND DECISIONMAKERS, WAS BROUGHT OUT. THE PANEL MODERATOR FELT STRONGLY THAT FOR AN EVALUATION TO PROVE USEFUL IT MUST BE RELIABLE, BRIEF, TIMELY, COMPREHENSIBLE, AND CONCLUSIVE (AT LEAST ON SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ADDRESSED). THERE WAS CONSIDERABLE DISAGREEMENT ABOUT WHAT HELPS OR HINDERS THE USE OF EVALUATION FINDINGS. THE PANEL'S BASIC CONCLUSIONS WERE THE FOLLOWING: (1) BEFORE THEY START A PROJECT, EVALUATORS SHOULD MAKE CERTAIN THAT SOMEBODY NEEDS THE INFORMATION THEY INTEND TO PRODUCE; (2) EVALUATORS SHOULD BE AGGRESSIVE ABOUT 'SELLING THEIR WARES' TO DECISIONMAKERS; (3) A MIX OF SHORT-TERM ANALYSES, LONG-TERM INQUIRIES, ASSESSMENT, DISCIPLINED JUDGMENT, AND RESEARCH SEEMS NECESSARY IF EVALUATION IS TO SURVIVE AS AN IDENTIFIABLE FUNCTION; AND (4) THERE NEEDS TO BE GREATER CLARITY ABOUT WHAT IS BEING PROMISED BY EVALUATORS AND EVALUATIONS--WHAT A GIVEN EVALUATION WILL DO, WHOM IT WILL SERVE, THE QUESTIONS IT CAN ANSWER. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Evaluation; Federal programs; Program evaluation
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49585

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